Some authors manage to pack more atmosphere and tension and characters into less than 200 pages than others ever manage to, even in books twice as long. Lindsay has done just that in Picnic at Hanging Rock.
Girls at a boarding school go out for a picnic, as the title states, at Hanging Rock. Hanging Rock is a former volcano in central Victoria, Australia. The setting plays a huge part in the story, casts its shadow over the whole book.
After lunch, four of the girls go climbing in the rocks, followed eventually by one of the teachers. One of the girls runs back to the picnic area in terror, but with no memory of what happened. The rest of the girls and the teacher are never seen again.
The rest of the story tells us what happens after. The ripples from the disappearances fan out, bringing terrible endings for some people and happily ever afters for others. There are a...